Nothing ruins a patio party faster than mosquitoes (except maybe fire ants…or biting flies). Mosquitoes, flies, beetles and other pesky party spoilers are uber-annoying when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors, but there’s no need to spray down your yard with industrial-strength insecticide. Many insect-repelling plants are effective with their natural fragrances, which keep annoying mosquitoes away while introducing wonderful scents throughout your garden. A few strategically placed plants outdoors will help ward off many bugs and insects, allowing you to dine and entertain in peace.
Here are several popular mosquito-repelling plants for your garden that will help keep your outdoor fun where it belongs, outdoors.
Have you ever noticed that insects or even rabbits and other animals have never decimated your lavender plant? It is because of their lovely fragrance, which comes from its essential oils that are found on the leaves of the plant. It is even argued that lavender oil hinders a mosquito’s ability to smell! This plant is very tough and drought-resistant once established, and only needs full sun and good drainage. And while it can endure many climates, it thrives in warmer areas.
Known for its distinct smell, citronella grass is the most commonly used natural ingredient in mosquito repellants. And the good news is that the living plant is the most effective at repelling pests. This low maintenance plant works well in large planters or it can be planted directly in a sunny area in the ground. Also, when buying Citronella, make sure you buy Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus, which are true varieties.
Another great mosquito repellant is rosemary. Rosemary is an herb that many of us are very familiar with and their woody scent is exactly what keeps mosquitoes as well as cabbage moths and carrot flies away. They do best in hot and dry climates and thrive in containers, which may be ideal for areas with winters. They can also be pruned into all sorts of shapes and sizes and make great borders or decorations. While the pests stay away you can enjoy the herb’s scent and also use it to season your cooking.
Basil is another herb that can also double as a pest repellent. The pungent smell the basil leaves give off are what keep pests at bay. And since all kinds of basil work to keep flies and mosquitoes at bay, feel free to explore and find the right types of basil to mix into your garden. This herb likes to be kept damp, needs good drainage, and enjoys lots of sun. You can plant basil in containers or in the garden, alone or with other flowers, as long as both plants meet the same requirements.
Several other plants and flowers can also make a big, pleasant difference in keeping pesky bugs and mosquitoes at bay. If there’s a particular bug that’s “bugging” you, consult with a qualified Horticulturist.